Basic Concepts Related to Magnetic Fields and Magnetic Susceptibility

  • L. N. Mulay


Magnetism has been known since ancient times; references to lodestone (leading stone) are found in the Vedas, the most ancient religious scriptures of the Hindus, dating back to about 1000 BC, in the Platonic dialogues of Socrates, and in the ancient literature of the Chinese. Scientific studies of magnetism began with William Gilbert of Colchester (1540–1603); he showed that the earth itself behaves like a magnet, that iron ceases to be attracted while red hot, and that substances such as paper and cloth do not affect the force of attraction between a magnet and iron. The early contributions of John Mitchell (1724–1793), of John Robison (1739–1805), and of Coulomb (1736–1806) helped to establish the well-known Coulomb’s “inverse square” law. Faraday is regarded as the founder of magnetochemistry; he based his investigations on the early researches of Ampére, Oersted, Arago, and Biot. Faraday showed that all matter is magnetic in one sense or the other; that is, that matter is either attracted or repelled by a magnetic field. Today we know that the former category embraces para- and ferromagnetism and the latter corresponds to diamagnetism. Stoner1 has given an excellent historical introduction and many references to early work. Faraday may be also regarded as a founder of biomagnetics or magnetobiology.


Magnetic Susceptibility Applied Field Magnetic Dipole Unpaired Electron Bohr Magneton 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. N. Mulay
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials Research LaboratoryPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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